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Corn with a new twist

September 04, 2009|By RICK NELSON / Minneapolis Star Tribune

Sweet-corn season is finally here and, unfortunately, it never lasts long.

This always-anticipated late-summer jewel tastes great on its own -- aided, perhaps by a shake of salt and a pat of butter -- but it also shines in soups, salads, side dishes and more.

Consider this possibility:

DOUBLE-CORN POLENTA



o Serves 6 to 8 as a side dish.

From "The 150 Best American Recipes" by Fran McCullough and Molly Stevens (Houghton Mifflin, $30).

3 to 4 ears sweet corn, husks and silk removed
2 ripe tomatoes
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Coarse salt
1 cup heavy crea
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup medium-grind cornmeal
2/3 cup loosely packed mixed freshly chopped herbs, such as parsley, thyme, chives and basil
2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
4 large fresh basil leaves, for garnish

Place corn in a large pot, cover with water and cook over high heat. When water comes to a boil, remove from heat, drain and cool. When cool, cut kernels from ear, reserving kernels.

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Core and roughly chop tomatoes. In a small bowl, toss them with olive oil, season with salt to taste and reserve.

In a medium saucepan, combine 4 cups water and cream over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Add butter, salt to taste and stir to melt butter.

Whisking constantly, add cornmeal in a slow, steady stream. Continue to whisk until all lumps disappear. Reduce heat to low and gently simmer, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until polenta is thick and creamy, about 20 minutes. Fold in corn, herbs and Parmesan.

Spoon into a heated serving bowl and top with tomatoes and any accumulated juice. Tear basil leaves into small pieces, sprinkle leaves over tomatoes and serve immediately.

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